Scott Raab was on his way to the airport and it was a perfect opportunity for us to do our podcast as he was driven through NY traffic. Here's the email I sent him the night before.
We'll obviously talk about the Browns. I'm not going to say too much, just that I wasn't horribly disappointed and that I'm looking forward to next week's game against the Ravens.
Craig and Andrew talk new music including their own insecurities about darlings of critics.
Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt
Comparing Lightning Bolt to Hesitation Marks
Sirens moving to the top of the Pearl Jam charts
Kevin Devine delivers Bulldozer and Bubblegum
The thought of writing two albums as a solo artist
Andrew and Craig both love Redbird
Those Darlins - Blur the Line
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Craig and Andrew both took to Neon Bible first before Funeral
Arcade Fire and the CMJ fest
James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem
The idolatry of musicians and how annoying it is at times
Comparing Arcade Fire with Tool
Comparing Arcade Fire to Bright Eyes
Anticipating the new Mansions album
Anticipating Wooden Shjips
Craig and Andrew love music. They also love to support the musicians who make that music. That's why it's so very frustrating to have a legal option like Spotify and then find out that some of their favorite artists like Radiohead and David Bazan have serious and real problems with the business model. On the one hand, it's a business model, which seems like a better scenario than the Napster free music days. On the other hand, if it isn't working for small and medium sized artists, how do you fix it?
The business of music and Spotify
New music versus legacy songs
Compensating artists at subsistence or better level and how to do it
Old music industry and winning the lottery
Excluding labels from the profits
Is Spotify good for artists?
Perfecting the model without burning down technology
If Death Cab had come out in the early 80’s would they be U2?
Always good to catch up with Martin Rickman. Today we found ourselves talking about sports and media and college football.
Event at the Happy Dog
Enjoying the interview style of Scott Raab and Zac Jackson
The player interview
Trying to cover younger players
Covering Jameis Winston and how much he has it in terms of talking to the media
Interviewing vs. writing
The targeting rule and Martin’s opinion on it
The yellow card red card scenario
Roby’s celebration and reaction
Owning up to the head injuries
Getting sick when hits like that happen
Are you more basketball than football?
Rick was on hand today for Rob Chudzinski's press conference and also Jason Campbell's media availability. We talk about a lot of other Browns stuff.
Did the Browns try hard enough to compete in 2013?
Brandon Weeden and whether he can ever start for the Browns again
Joe Thomas and his free pass for not talking to the media today
The hurt man locker in the Browns locker room
Why haven't the Browns signed a third quarterback yet?
Couldn't the Browns have signed better running backs than Bobby Rainey and Willis McGahee?
This week we talked about the Browns' loss to the Packers, but we branched out a bit. We talked about Robert Redford, movie criticism and passing pop culture down generationally. We also talked about Scott Raab coming home to speak at Cleveland State and also the Happy Dog on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM with Zac Jackson as well.
Here's the email I sent to Scott in anticipation of our podcast this morning.
We'll talk about the Browns. Specifically, I think I can say without hyperbole that the Browns should cut Brandon Weeden. It seems inconceivable that Michael Lombardi could be involved with the Browns cutting Bernie Kosar and yet can't find it in this iteration of the Browns to cut Weeden loose.
I really want to talk about Robert Redford. I read your movie review of All is Lost. Unfortunately I didn't catch the profile from April. Something you said in the review surprised me.
Call it a product of our age difference, but I had no idea that Redford wasn't a critical success his entire career. Obviously I believe you, but I think it's fascinating that the translation of Redford from my father to me was nothing but positive and so I always just assumed he was like a George Clooney who was both popular and critically acclaimed.
Is there an actor today that lines up with Redford in that way where he takes a little from the critics, but time will erase almost all of the criticism? I have one in mind, but I'll save it and run it by you "live" on the air.
That's all I've got right now. I am looking to read some of the post-game quotes from the Browns to see if they have anything to say for themselves.
Jon and Denny and Craig do Casual Friday podcast
Denny’s cancelled soccer game
Civic responsibility and drinking
Playoff major league baseball and the Detroit Tigers
The similarities between St. Louis Cardinals hatred and the Ohio State Buckeyes hatred
The national hatred for St. Louis Cardinals fans right now
The Eye of Sauron reference by Denny
How insufferable are Cleveland fans going to be when the Browns win a couple playoff games
Millhouse Manning as future quarterback for the Cleveland Browns
Hector Marinaro, Otto Orf, Kai Haaskavi and why their championships don’t count
Willis McGahee busting up his knee and Miami losing the championship
The Boston University championship over Miami of Ohio
Denny’s longform piece on StrideNation
Jon doing grading vs. editing
Long reads, writing with quality and trying to figure its worth in the blogging universe
Comment sections and their worth
Writing letters to friends
Thank you notes and whether or not you should ever bother writing them or not
Scott and I had a chance to sit down and talk about the pretty extensive profile he did of Jessica "Evil" Eye who fights out of the Cleveland area.
Women in MMA and Dana White saying they wouldn’t do female fights
Jessica Eye training and sparring with men
Stepping up to the UFC vs. a smaller promotion
Sarah Kaufman is not an easy first test
The backstory and the car accident
How did Jessica find herself in combat sports?
The StrongStyle team is now her family
Jessica Eye’s brother
As I've done in previous (but not all) weeks, here's the Sunday night email that I sent to Scott. It largely saves you from hearing the tap tap tap of me taking notes during the podcast.
Here we go...
The Cleveland Browns lose not simply because Brandon Weeden had a bad day, but it's impossible to get over that embarrassing shovel pass he threw. In a week where Brandon Weeden was simply outplayed by someone like Thad Lewis in Buffalo, is it fair to hope we never see Weeden play again for the Browns? Is that an overreaction? Does Weeden still give the Browns the best chance to win even if we all know he has no future as a starter in the league? Is he even the best backup available to play for the Browns right now?
I want to do some follow-up on Chief Wahoo. The debate raged on after we talked last week. You and I agree on the topic, but it's worth looking at a couple of the arguments. I don't represent these arguments/questions, but they are ones that I saw in the comments of a WFNY post this week in which Andrew from WFNY was saying it was time for Wahoo to go. It's not even unanimous among WFNY writers, by the way.
1. First of all, we've talked about political correctness. Why is it alright to bow down to the P.C. pressure on Native Americans with regard to Chief Wahoo but still hate political correctness in other arenas?
2. Following up on the first question, what is your response to the slippery slope argument that if you allow Chief Wahoo to go that all sports team names will be scrubbed next?
3. How much of this whole debate boils down to the fact that people really just hate to be told what to do?
Now for some of my new personal enlightenment on the topic, here's what I've been thinking about since the Wahoo debate has been re-ignited among Clevelanders.
I started thinking about the Redskins name and all the hubbub over Riley Cooper's use of an n-bomb. The NFL might be able to survive the Redskins name and just not care about criticism if they weren't also the same league that jumped through hoops whenever anything remotely racist was said by one of the players. The Riley Cooper situation further reveals a hypocrisy with the NFL's willingness to have the word Redskins as a team name.
What would the Indians do if one of their players referred to someone as a "f***ot" in a post-game presser? I'm sure the player would be punished by the team, league or both like Kobe was in the NBA. If you're going to run a business that is so sensitive to controversial and discriminatory language by a player, you really can't stand by Chief Wahoo.
Chief Wahoo is actually antithetical to MLB's business plan. Pro sports are built to be these big safe things for mass audiences. That's all the more reason that these antiquated names - now racist by most everyone's modern definition - have got to change. Did the world change around them? Did standards change? Yes. That observation doesn't allow you to ignore reality.
I want to finish up on a positive note. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that I don't know very well right now, but I want to get to know them better. This team might be deep, but in the very very promising kind of way. They're not deep in the Miami Heat kind of way with proven stars only capable of playing 12 minutes per game because they are aged. These are up and coming depth pieces and the Cavaliers will get to choose the best of them over the course of this year. I'm simultaneously excited for the present and the future with these Cavaliers even though it's just pre-season.
That's what I've got. Look forward to talking to you tomorrow.
This week was light on podcasts because my life got in the way, but I still got Casual Friday in with Denny.
Field Turf fields and how novel they were when Denny was in high school
The cost of putting in a field turf field
Co-ed sports and rag-tag teams that are tossed together
Denny’s egregious foul
Denny getting chippy with the competition
Playing rec leagues for charity
Pink in the NFL for awareness
The awareness arms race
The ribbon shaped bagels at Panera
The Microsoft Office Live yellow commercial scroll looked like flags
XBox and video game platforms
Mobile gaming vs. MP3 players
FLAC files and OGG Vorbis files
The console gaming industry that slows down the PC gaming industry
Diablo 2 and Medal of Honor
Chief Wahoo article on WFNY by Andrew
Denny and why his not understanding Craig’s post about Stevie
Facebook commenters don’t read posts and just comment
The cost of changing with the Indians
The Rock and Roll Half Marathon and being pumped up for your friends
Denny’s lack of marathon training
Matt Schaub and fans chasing him down
Here is the email I sent to Scott prior to our podcast this week.
Indians year in review. The team was maddening. They finished great. They actually made the playoffs. They got shut out in the playoffs.
Do you need a short-hand "good" or "bad" rating for the season? I'm curious if your son had a take on whether it was a good or bad season and how that conversation went. I still just talk "at" my three year old about sports so I told him that they made the playoffs and that it was a good year. Maybe next year they can have an even better one. I imagine the 14-year-old sports fan opinion is a bit more nuanced.
Speaking of nuance, the Browns won to make it three wins in a row, but the biggest reason (other than the defense) for making it three in a row tears his ACL. I worked really hard to enjoy the win, but in the end, the feeling of gloom rose to the top. I never imagined it would happen when he was named starter, but I looked forward to watching Brian Hoyer play.
I did a podcast with Sam Allard and Brian Windhorst last week and we talked about how the Mike Brown story should probably be much bigger in Cleveland. Because Brown was here once and people mark his exit as the same time frame as "The Decision," Mike Brown has largely been labeled a failure. Windhorst told me that he doesn't necessarily think that's fair and that Mike Brown's resume should have made his hiring in Cleveland a bigger deal.
At the time, I thought Mike Brown should have been fired after the Orlando series, if I'm being perfectly honest. Maybe I was crazy, but it seemed to me that even though he won coach of the year that year he had coached badly against Orlando and even in the sweep of the Hawks before it.
Maybe I'm too fickle though. I said the same thing about Eric Wedge when he won Manager of the Year in 2007. Later on in 2010 I said that those two coaching awards were some of the worst things that happened to the respective franchises because it made those two coaches untouchable. Am I nuts to have put Eric Wedge and Mike Brown in the same category?
Lastly, I truly am excited to have Mike Brown back. That being the case, it occurs to me this is the most excited I've been about all the coaches of the respective Cleveland sports teams in a long time and maybe ever. It's hard to think we'll look back and regret Terry Francona. I think there's a good chance that Chud and his staff are the real deal. Am I jumping the gun? If so, how much?
While I was watching the Browns game, I was also talking to Denny about a wide variety of topics.
Drinking before playing soccer
The Internet makes sure that none of us drink alone
Vacations after kids and going to the Virginia Beach Aquarium
Loving aquariums and Sea World
The aquarium in Monterrey California
Sea horses and how they shouldn’t really exist for weirdness purposes
Ghost crabs and their side to side motion
Catching eels and rays and crabs
The creepiness of eels
Vacation schedules and locking it in
Apolitical discussion of how the shutdown affects Denny’s life
The lack of representation of citizens in the District of Columbia
Trash pickup and the rat problems in Washington D.C.
Guaranteeing backpay to furloughed employees
The Cleveland Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon
Training for the NYC Marathon
Denny updating the brick wall exposition project
Cleveland fans’ intents on being depressed over the Indians
The sliding scale of sports fans’ desires with teams
Chris Perez and what he could know having shown up in Cleveland in 2009 as a 23 year old
Ohio State and LeBron
I was still up wallowing in some Burger King. Martin Rickman was up and about to drive home from Progressive Field. I gave him a call and we talked about the Indians.
Martin Rickman and the champagne bath
How many champagne baths should be allowed?
The Indians season-ending game was sad, but it wasn’t a gut punch
The struggles of Nick Swisher and Asdrubal Cabrera
Expecting the playoffs and playing with house money
The Cleveland Indians off-season and making tough choices
The Indians game tonight wasn’t a newspaper across the nose
Brian and I had talked about the Breaking Bad finale in other podcasts because Brian wanted to know how much money it would take for me to skip it. Now that it's all over, I wanted to see what he though of the whole thing.
Rewatching Breaking Bad finale vs. rewatching Browns games
The Breaking Bad finale and how redemption defied what Vince Gilligan said he was going to do
Finding redemption and whether Walt actually found redemption or not
How do you explain the Jesse Pinkman outcome?
Does that defy the “Breaking Bad” thing?
The last minute decision to tackle Jesse
Bad guys as complex characters who are capable of more than just evil
The Breaking Bad finale as a referendum on the Lost finale
The Lost bloat on the network
The common thread between Breaking Bad and Lost was popularity
AMC’s propogation of the Breaking Bad brand was a bit over the top
Not ordering the Breaking Bad boxed set because it comes in a barrell
Six Feet Under, The Sopranos
Ray Donovan and the bragging on shows before they even start
The modern male anti-hero and where Walter White fits in with the modern versions
Han Solo as an anti-hero
Are you feeling a void in your life now that Breaking Bad is gone?
The instantaneous reaction of twitter and how it takes something away from forming your own opinion